With two minutes to go and the Denver Nuggets holding a 16-point lead, not a single fan headed for the exits at McNichols Arena.
Some were prepared to witness history--a rare Denver victory. The rest wanted to see how the home team would blow that advantage, as it had squandered leads all season.
The Nuggets held on, winning successive games for the first time in more than a year by beating the Portland Trail Blazers, 92-82, Saturday night behind Johnny Newman's 33 points.
The Nuggets, who ended a 16-game losing streak by beating Vancouver two nights earlier, made it two in a row for the first time since February 1997, a span of 99 games.
"Our first winning streak of the year? You've got to love it," Denver Coach Bill Hanzlik said.
Despite the win, the Nuggets (7-58) remained on pace to eclipse the worst record in NBA history, the 9-73 mark set 25 years ago by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Chicago 96, San Antonio 86--Two nights after a surprising loss to the lowly Dallas Mavericks, Michael Jordan scored 30 points--seven in the last four minutes--and the Bulls won at San Antonio.
Jordan also broke Tom Boerwinkle's team rebounding record of 5,745.
Philadelphia 93, Milwaukee 89--Joe Smith scored 27 points and Allen Iverson added 20 for the 76ers, who won at Milwaukee.
The Bucks, who have lost five consecutive games and eight of their last nine, were led by Ray Allen with 23 points and Elliot Perry with 21.
Milwaukee, already without injured starters Terrell Brandon and Glenn Robinson, lost forward Tyrone Hill in the first quarter and reserve center Andrew Lang in the second.
Hill, who was carried off the court on a stretcher, fell to the court hard after a collision with several players while defending as Iverson drove to the basket. There was no report on his injury.
Lang injured his left knee.
Houston 89, Sacramento 86--Mario Elie's three-point basket started the Rockets on a late 8-0 run and Charles Barkley made three free throws in the final 15 seconds to lift them at Houston.
Washington 83, Charlotte 80--Chris Webber made a running shot in the lane with 13 seconds to play, and the Wizards won at Charlotte to end the Hornets' club-record 10-game winning streak.
New Jersey 108, Dallas 93--Kerry Kittles scored five of his 20 points during a decisive 10-0 fourth-quarter run for the Nets, who won at Dallas and ended a seven-game losing streak.
Cleveland 88, New York 85--Shawn Kemp broke out of a scoring slump with 22 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 18 for the Cavaliers, who won at Cleveland in overtime.
Brevin Knight made two free throws with 14.9 seconds left in the extra period to put the Cavaliers ahead for good.
Seattle 114, Minnesota 80--Six days after Minnesota had extended them into overtime, the SuperSonics had no trouble winning at Seattle, getting 18 points from Sam Perkins in 17 minutes.